Southwestern Historical Quarterly
the headquarters of the District of Texas, New Mexico, and
Arizona at Houston. Brigadier General Paul O. Hebert, command-
ing in the absence of Major General John Bankhead Magruder,
replied on April 30 with orders for Griffin to strike first and
defeat, disperse, or capture the Federal expedition.4
On the same day Lieutenant Colonel Ashley W. Spaight at
Niblett's Bluff learned from a subordinate in Lake Charles,
Louisiana, that a small Federal landing force from a gunboat had
burned some old Confederate quarters at Calcasieu Pass. He for-
warded the information to Houston on May 3 with an additional
statement that he had left one company of his own infantry
battalion at Niblett's Bluff, sent three others to Sabine Pass, and
ordered a second company of Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Daly's
cavalry battalion to Lake Charles.6
The following day Griffin wrote to Spaight outlining a plan of
attack on the Federals and requesting assistance. Griffin proposed
using infantry from his own battalion and from that of Spaight,
plus approximately twenty of Daly's horsemen and Captain Ed-
mund Creuzbaur's field artillery battery. He asked Spaight to take
command of all troops at Niblett's Bluff and at Lake Charles and
to keep the movement on Calcasieu Pass a secret if at all possible."
Putting his plan into motion, Griffin ordered the Sabine Pass
garrison to prepare for field duty at noon on May 4. After dark
the Confederates were placed aboard a river steamer and taken
up Sabine Lake into a bayou on the Louisiana side where they
were unloaded at midday of May 5. There they waited until night-
fall to start their march on Calcasieu Pass.7
As Griffin watched his Texans plod through the deep sand of
the coastal prairie that night, he well may have considered the
4J. E. Slaughter to Major General J. B. Magruder, April go, 1864, ibid., Series
I, Vol. XXI, 895; J. E. Slaughter to Colonel W. H. Griffin, April 30o, 1864, ibid.;
Houston Daily Telegraph, May 4, 1864. For accounts of the battle of Sabine Pass,
September 8, 1863, see Joseph W. Young, "The Battle of Sabine Pass," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, LII, 398-409; Andrew Forest Muir, "Dick Dowling and the
Battle of Sabine Pass," Civil War History, IV, 394-428; Alwyn Barr, "Sabine Pass,
September, 1863," Texas Military History, II, 17-22.
5Lieutenant Colonel A. W. Spaight to Brigadier General J. E. Slaughter, May
3, 1864, A. W. Spaight Papers (MS., Archives, University of Texas Library).
6Colonel William H. Griffin to Colonel A. W. Spaight, May 4, 1864, ibid.
7C. Walter von Rosenburg to William C. von Rosenburg, May lo, 1864, in W.
C. von Rosenburg, "Battle of Calcasieu Pass," Confederate Veteran, XXVI, 516.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed December 27, 2014.